In its fourth double overtime game on the season, the Quinnipiac women’s soccer team added another draw to its record, tying Niagara 1-1, despite being the dominant team offensively for most of the contest.
The only goal for the Bobcats came from Aine McKeever on a penalty kick. In the 33rd minute, Jessica Lavoie took a shot that was deflected by Purple Eagles goalkeeper Claire Feiertag. On the following corner, McKeever bent the ball into the box and hit the hands of Niagara defender Maureen Papaconstantinou. McKeever took the penalty kick and struck it off the left post and in. The goal gave the senior defender/midfielder her team-leading third goal of the season.
“She’s a good penalty kicker,” a disgruntled head coach Dave Clarke said. “She’s composed and does what she has to do.”
The tying goal came in the 77th minute when Niagara’s Brianna Catipovic struck a hard shot, making it past a diving Natalia Grodzki and finding the top-right corner. The score would remain the same through the rest of the match.
“We gave away the ball needlessly,” Clarke said on the goal. “They punished us for the mistake. We slowed it down, we controlled it for them, and lost the ball needlessly. We deserved to be punished for it.”
Statistically, the Bobcats had the upper-hand. They outshot their opponent 17 to seven forcing Feiertag to make nine saves to Grodzki’s three. Their seven corner kicks were four more than Niagara attempted.
The real damage came in the second half of regulation when Niagara found its offense, outshooting the home team six to five and capitalizing on its results.
The outcome could have been different if it were not for the impact of Bobcat defender Taylor Healey, playing aggressive and making her presence known, especially with her slide tackle.
“Taylor has been probably one of the most consistent players, along with Kelly Caruso, all season,” Clarke said. “When games are like this, that’s the performance you expect from her.”
“I’m a little disappointed in terms of some of the players around her,” Clarke continued. “They didn’t raise up to the same level of commitment and attitude.”
Quinnipiac picked up the hustle in the overtime periods holding its opponent to no shot attempts and taking six overall, unfortunately to no avail. Offense has been a struggle this season, as the team has only scored nine goals so far.
“We saw a couple good chances in overtime,” Clarke said. “I think the players think they have more time than they do and they’ve got to want to put the ball in the back of the net. “We were dominant and we have to take our chances. You can’t waste the chances that we had especially in overtime.”
The next bout for the Bobcats is at Marist on Oct. 16.
“We’ve got to cut out the silly mistakes and improve the decision making,” Clarke said. “If you’re not scoring goals you’re not going to win those games. That’s the crux of it right now: we’re not scoring enough goals.”